Archive for July 2nd, 2007


Summer Games

It’s hard enough to get the kids to pry themselves away from the TV long enough to do something productive. Even harder is getting them outside of an air-conditioned environment (at least in the Houston area). Russ Neumeir, of Wired Blog Network, may be on to something with Alka-Setzer Tag:

If you’ve got some Alka-Seltzer tablets, a drill, some string, and lots of water, you’ve got all you need for a fun, summer-time (outdoor) game.

Set-up is very easy:

  1. drill a small hole through the center of an Alka-Seltzer tablet
  2. thread a string through the hole.  Make sure the string is long enough to tie around a person’s neck so the Alka-Seltzer can be worn as a necklace. 
  3. have lots and lots and lots of water.

Then, the object of the game is to get the other person’s Alka-Seltzer wet.  As the tablet reacts to the water, it will start foaming and eventually fall off the string.  The last person with an Alka-Seltzer necklace is the winner.  As an alternative, you can divide into teams instead of every-person-for-themselves.

Once you’ve dried off, the Alka-Seltzer website has a section for science experiments for any left-over tablets.  Experiments include watching the rate of chemical reaction in different environments and (my favorite) Alka rockets.


Fireworks and Phalanges

In the US, fireworks stands have sprouted up like ever so many weeds along the road side. 4th of July is coming up with a legal window for these pyrotechnic toys to be flogged. Remember, it may be legal to buy them, but it could be illegal to bring them back to your residence. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • These are explosives, treat them as such.
  • Light them with a lighting stick (a punk) because your really do need all of your digits.
  • Do not combine all of your firewrks into a steel trash can and set it off. If you’ve got to say “stand back cuz I dunno what this is gonna do” then do not do it.
  • Have a bucket of water or, better yet, a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Do not aim your toys at homes, passing cars, or people.
  • Clean up your mess!

I’m glad that it’s been raining non-stop here for a few weeks. Bottle rockets landing on my roof or yard should not be a problem. That said, the cat is gonna need Xanax after the coming week…


Jet Kayak!

Spotted by my buddy over at LowCountry Classics (need a cool house in the Low Country?). Everyone that tries this must be insured, please. “His buttocks have been roasted by the engine!”